Where do most of your attention and energy go when organizing an event? Are you mainly focused on delivering an outstanding event experience to your attendees and stakeholders?
Many event professionals make this a top priority.
While there is nothing wrong with this perspective per se - it is nevertheless extremely narrow. You risk missing out on a lot of business potential that lies in the time leading up to and following your actual event.
The before and after matter even more than your event itself. Because that’s where the real magic happens.
Your actual event - whether it is a business conference, seminar, or online event - will usually be limited to a maximum of a few hours or a few days in which you get the chance to run through your agenda and present your event program to your audience.
But of course, there is more to it.
You will start planning and promoting your event well in advance. Just as you will want to invest time to stay connected and engaged with your attendees and other stakeholders after your event has come to an end.
This considerably extends the time frame of your event in which you are gifted with the opportunity to nurture and grow your business network of prospects, customers, and key stakeholders.
So don’t watch this opportunity passing by. Make every moment of the journey count - highlight the before and after.
Is your objective to generate new leads? To raise brand awareness and to target and convert prospects?
Then you want to put extra attention in the BEFORE of your event to make sure that the right people learn and get excited about your upcoming event - creating buzz and awareness around your brand.
Leverage the AFTER of your event to further nurture your newly identified leads down the funnel.
Or do you want to strengthen your relationship with existing customers? To increase their loyalty and their business value?
In this case, you want to focus more on the AFTER of your event. After you have showcased for example a new product or service to your audience of existing customers during your event, you want to have a post-event follow-up with them to ask for their valuable feedback or to schedule a 1:1 consultation meeting going into depth on how your new offering can serve their individual needs in particular.
The BEFORE surely is relevant as well because you want to motivate your customer base to take time out of their day to attend your event. But you will be familiar with this crowd of people already, most likely sharing the same purpose and values with them. And therefore, it will be much easier to attract them to your event than in the previous case, in which more effort is required to get the attention of a group of (so far) strangers.
Focusing on pre-event and post-event engagement tremendously enhances the overall event experience and boosts the value of your event for yourself and for your stakeholders.
If you want to reap the full benefits from your event, you need to fully embrace the before and after of your event because these are the time frames which ultimately determine the result of your event.
This article is one out of many covering a "New take on events" - phase 1 of our pioneering event journey, giving you the right outset for creating better events.
Improvement is done before the event. Use pre-event engagement and shape your event content according to your attendees' needs and wants, and optimize the value of your event for everyone involved.
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